Sequioa Tree With Tunnel Through It Is Victim of California's Latest Storm
Iconic Tree in Calaveras State Park was hundreds of years old
January 14, 2017
The iconic Pioneer Cabin Tree, also known as "The Tunnel Tree", fell during a rainstorm on January 7, 2017.
Since it was first hollowed out in imitation of Yosemite's Wawona Tunnel Tree, thousands of tourists and vehicles have passed through the sequoia, known as the Pioneer Cabin Tree. The Wawona tree was killed by the process and later fell during a storm in the 1960s, but the Pioneer Cabin Tree clung on, showing signs of life well into the 21st century.
"The pioneer cabin tree was chosen because of its extremely wide base and large fire scar," wrote park interpretive specialist Wendy Harrison in 1990. "A few branches bearing green foliage tell us that this tree is still managing to survive."
The iconic tree was used in countless movies and car commercials. It may have fallen because its roots were only a few feet deep, and the ground in the trails immediately adjoining it, had become waterlogged with rain.
The Pioneer Cabin tree has fallen! This iconic and still living tree - the tunnel tree - enchanted many visitors. The storm was just too much for it, tweeted the Calaveras Big Tree Association.
In addition to the popular North Grove, the park also now includes the South Grove, with a 5-mile (8.0 km) hiking trip into a grove of giant sequoias in their natural setting. The South Grove includes the Louis Agassiz tree, 250 feet (76 m) tall and more than 25 feet (7.6 m) in diameter 6 feet (1.8 m) above ground, the largest tree in the Calaveras groves. It is named after zoologist Louis Agassiz (1807–1873).
Other attractions in the Park include the Stanislaus River, Beaver Creek, the Lava Bluff Trail and Bradley Trail.
The park also houses two main campgrounds with a total of 129 campsites, six picnic areas and hundreds of miles of established trails.